Washington DC’s Teen Mortgage climbed from the city’s primordial punk soup in 2017 after guitarist/vocalist James Guile relocated to the nation’s capital from Liverpool, UK and by a stroke of luck was quickly able to find hard hitting drummer Ed Barkauskas via a desperate craigslist post. As a two piece they stood out – crossbreeding east coast hardcore aggression and garage/surf sleaze with a focus on pop sensibility. This sonic blend perfectly set the scene for vocalist and guitarist James Guile to illustrate what he describes as “the absurdity of living in the era of late stage capitalism and tech feudalism”. He adds, “it’s even woven into our name, like Mortgage in latin means ‘death pledge’”
Teen Mortgage’s acerbic intensity was noticed by Brooklyn, NY label King Pizza Records, who released the duo’s 2019 EP Life/Death and 2021’s Smoked. Songs from the EPs earned Teen Mortgage placements with Shameless, Vans Park Series, and Evil Bikes and support slots with notable bands like The Chats, Mike Krol, Bass Drum Of Death, Jeff The Brotherhood, etc.
Known for their rowdy live shows, Teen Mortgage detonates a sonic bomb that leaves no room for apathy, let alone time to breathe. Guile’s caustic riffs and sneer paired with Barakauskas’s brawn have fostered a new established meeting ground for those looking for a place to mosh. Their DIY headline national tours have seen crowd members become rabid as soon as the pair kick in the first riff of the set, like a pack of coyotes chasing down their prey.
The group’s infectious fuzz bonded with Jello Biafra and George Carlin inspired lyrics light the fuse for people to explode into a primal frenzy, sweating out the drudgery of living through, once again in Guile’s words, “the era of late stage capitalism and tech feudalism”.
“These guys have got it going on” – Iggy Pop, BBC6’s The Confidential Show